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Minority senators a no-show at ICC oral arguments

Minority senators a no-show at ICC oral arguments
By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan
MANILA -- Opposition senators did not show up in Tuesday's oral arguments before the Supreme Court (SC) on the petition seeking to invalidate the Philippine government's withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

During the start of the oral arguments, lawyer Anna Marie Corominas, representing petitioner-Senators Kiko Pangilinan, Franklin Drilon, Bam Aquino, Antonio Trillanes IV, Leila de Lima and Riza Hontiveros, has made a manifestation that the minority senators have yet to decide about their representation in the proceedings.

Detained Senator de Lima was supposed to argue on behalf of the minority Senators but her bid was denied by the SC.

De Lima, as well as the other minority senators, filed separate motions for reconsideration which were also denied by the High Court.

Corominas asked the High Court that the senators be allowed to participate in next week's session.

Newly-appointed Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, who presided over the oral arguments, replied that the court notes their manifestation and it will issue a resolution on the petitioners’ request.

The SC denied de Lima’s motion for reconsideration, seeking the High Court’s permission to be allowed to “appear and personally represent herself” during the oral argument of the case initially scheduled on August 14, 2018.

The plea was denied by the Court on Aug. 7, wherein 10 magistrates voted to junk de Lima’s motion while two voted to grant it.

Last Aug. 16, 2018, de Lima sought for a reconsideration of the SC denial of her plea to join the oral argument.

But the Court, in denying the petitioner’s motion for reconsideration, found that no new argument had been presented to warrant a reconsideration of its earlier resolution.

The oral arguments tackle the petition filed by opposition senators, who filed for certiorari and mandamus -- and said that under Article VII, Section 21 of the 1987 Constitution, "entering into treaty or international agreement requires participation of Congress, that is, through concurrence of at least two-third of all the members of the Senate.”

The second petition was filed by the Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Court, led by former Commission on Human Rights chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales.

On March 14, President Rodrigo R. Duterte announced the Philippines’ withdrawal of its ratification of the Rome Statute, a United Nations treaty creating the ICC.

With this, the SC proceeded with the oral arguments to hear the side of the PCICC, which also questioned the country's formal withdrawal from the Hague-based tribunal. (PNA)

Minority senators a no-show at ICC oral arguments Minority senators a no-show at ICC oral arguments Reviewed by AsianPolicy.Press on 9:30:00 PM Rating: 5

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